In 2009 the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America a D overall in infrastructure. This is the average of 15 different categories, only one of which achieved the high score of a C+. They estimated that we would need $2.2 trillion over 5 years to get America back to an acceptable GPA. Imagine if Americans infrastructure budget was to be designed by engineers, eliminating the politics and the pork barrel* spending projects of legislators.
Why Are We in this Mess?
Currently America's infrastructure is receiving just a little better than a failing grade. With lawyers and businessmen running the show there does not look like there will be any significant improvements in the future. Why would there be? The current political system relies on interest groups to make a persuasive enough argument to these elected lawyers and businessmen to make them want to write legislation to put a band-aid on the problem.
The majority of elected congressional officals in America are not qualified to make these decisions. The 112th congress only had "1 physicist, 1 chemist, 6 engineers, and 1 microbiologist (all in the House);" (as taken from Membership of the 112th Congress: A Profile.) A ratio of 9 to 535 people qualified to make important decisions on infrastructure to the total number of people making decisions, give poor chances for success. Neil deGrasse Tyson a famous astrophysicist has been quoted saying:
"I was 12 and I said, "I wonder what profession all these Senators and Congressmen were." Law, law, law, law, businessman, law, law. And I said, "There's no scientists? Where are the engineers? Where's the rest of life represented?""
Would using these men and women help make better and more efficient decisions for a nations infrastructure? How do we create an environment for these scientists, and engineers to become a part of this decision making process? How do we use the expertise of these scientifically minded individuals to improve a nation's backbone?
A room full of brilliant and scientific minds would look at America's poor report card, and look for ways to economically improve its marks. Money would be budgeted to projects that would use it efficiently, and that would be most beneficial. Engineers would know the areas of improvement, and would not rely on interest groups to point out large and obvious problems.
Engineers and scientist could also shine a different light on political debates. Decisions on weather a oil pipe line would negatively affect the ecosystem would be made in confidence and not ignorance. Proper legislation regarding the environmental impact of automobiles could be set into place. New forms of power generation, agriculture, space exploration, internet infrastructure, and water treatment would not be debated on not out of fear, incompetence, or greed, but because they are serious and viable options.
Sophocracy is the smartest option for a growing nation. It allows for all decisions to be made on an objective platform (see Government Focused on Results). Sophocracy has been predicted by Plato as the government of the future.
As an American myself, I am most knowledgeable on American politics and problems. However, Sophocracy should be a global movement, and can improve the lives of all sovereign states with a well educated population.
As always I am open for debate on the subject. If you have any questions, comments, or cries of anguish please leave it in the comments below.
If you go to infrastructurereportcard.org you can see the exact figures and data that they provide
*Pork barrel is the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative's district. (wikipedia)